Saturday, 1 August 2015

Vintage clothes from the inside

As some of you may know, I am obsessed with the inside of clothes. Vintage, couture and home sewn clothes that is - they are exciting. Modern insides of ready-to-wear is just plain boring. (Evidence of this obsession can be found here - here - here for example - and In the atelier & inside the clothes on Pinterest.) So imagine by delight when my sister told be that there's an exhibition on Landskrona museum with focus on the inside!
Exhibition poster clothes from the inside |
So I made a little trip to Landskrona. Had some rather boring lunch near the castle (no duck...) and then went to the exhibition. It was small, but good, with clothes from late 1700's to the 1970's. There were no signs telling me not to photograph, so I did (without flash. Don't worry.). The clothes were either behind glass or netting, making it rather difficult to see the details in the photos, but I'll try to explain.
Inside of a vintage evening gown 1970s Märthaskolan |
This rather simple evening gown is from the 1970's and made by Märthaskolan. (Märthaskolan was a school and fashion house in Stockholm, Sweden between 1927 and 1975, named after princess Märtha and founded by countess Marg von Schwerin. The school educated seamstresses and tailors in high fashion for ladies, and the fashion house was one of few in Sweden sewing couture. They had a French department, sewing original French designs on license from for example Christian Dior, Chanel and Balenciaga.) The dress is underlined with - I presume - silk organza. It's a metal zipper, the seam allowances are wide and overcast by hand. The dress was also fully lined in something thin and white (as you can see in the photo below), with delicate laces along the edges. Very neat!
Inside of a vintage cocktail dress in duchesse 1960's |
Inside of a vintage cocktail dress in duchesse 1960's |
This is a vintage cocktail dress in pink-brown duchesse. The hem of the skirt is shaped with stiff underlining (some sort of non-woven, non-fusible paper-like thing). It's sewn to the hem, but hanging in straps from the waist to avoid stitches in the skirt. I've never seen anything like it - it seems rather uncomfortable with those straps? Wouldn't it give better support if the whole skirt was underlined with silk organza, and then the very heavy backing could be attached to that? The upper back is supported with what looked like cotton, and then dress shields under the arms to avoid sweat stains.
Inside mans vintage coat from the 1930's |
A very handsome coat for the gentleman from the 1930's. Look at the piping around the edges! I can't even imagine how to do that! The coat was a really heavy wool, and than lined with this lovely silk.
Inside vintage coat from the 1930's |
This is a rather simple, unlined coat from the mid-1930's. It's in wool, but you can see silk finishing the sleeves, and that the armscye is bound in silk as well.
Inside vintage coat from the 1910's |
The outside was a rather strict suit in dark purple from the 1910's. But on the inside, it's those lovely stripes! I would say that the clothes from early 1900's to 1930's had the most elaborated insides. And of course, there was a huge difference between clothes for the upper class and for the working class and farmers. The latter was a sad - but interesting - story, with patches upon patches to keep the clothes together.

At the same time, the insides were rather like each other through the decades. Rather wobbly straight seams, first sewn by hand and then my machine and almost exclusively hand overcast edges. It was only on some of the finest garments the sewing was straight and neat.

Speaking of exhibitions; before I picked up my new old sewing table I visited Bea Szenfeld's exhibition at Dunkers here in Helsingborg (again. I was at the opening night as well). She really is amazingly creative. I love the bathing suits that weighs several kilos and are too heavy to swim in and the clothes from the white collection (all in paper). Lady Gaga likes it as well.
Bea Szenfeld Dunkers |
Bea Szenfeld Dunkers The white collection |
(It's very popular to put clothes in exhibition behind black netting obviously. I wonder why? It's rather annoying. But sure, there's no reflexion like when you have them behind glass.) Bea held a lecture a couple of months ago as well, and it was fabulous. As usual. For instance, about creativity, she said that it's one big mess spinning around in the head and sometimes some of it comes out and becomes something. She also spoke lovely about craftsmanship - to be able to see the hands behind the work.
Bea Szenfeld Dunkers |


  1. What an interesting exhibition. I also love to have a look to the inside of garments.

    1. Yes, I'm surprised that I haven't seen an exhibition like this anywhere else. After all, it's the inside that makes the outside possible!

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